Dodgers apologize, re-extend Pride Night invitation to Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Nearly a week after rescinding their Pride Night invitation from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence due to backlash from Catholic groups and politicians, the Dodgers have opted to reverse course and re-extend the invitation to the satirical LGBTQ+ drag group.
In a statement released Monday, the organization said:
"After much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends and families.
We have asked the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to take their place on the field at our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16th. We are pleased to share that they have agreed to receive the gratitude of our collective communities for the lifesaving work that they have done tirelessly for decades.
In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves, find ways to strengthen the ties that bind and use our platform to support all of our fans who make up the diversity of the Dodgers family."
"I think it's fair to say, 'It's time for Dodger baseball!' This time with nuns," said Sister Bearonce Knows shortly after the group was re-invited to Pride Night.
Sister Knows says that the Dodgers opened up to them and offered an apology for acting rashly and making a rushed decision. Since they felt that the organization's apology was sincere, they've decided to accept the invite and hit the field for the celebration on June 16.
"One of the things we wanted to communicate to them was that a simple apology and re-invitation would not be enough," Sister Knows said. "We, as well as the rest of our community, want to ensure that this is genuine and that they are taking the right steps to reconfirm their allyship with us."
The sentiment was echoed by Sister Unity, who spoke to press on Monday outside of Dodger Stadium.
"The message that this instance should send to all organizations — athletic, corporate or whomever — is the very lesson that the LA Dodgers tell us that they learned and that is: look before you leap."
While they know their fight isn't over, the organization says that the whirlwind of events haven't come without a silver lining, noting that in recent days they've received an influx of donations totaling more than $15,000 which they're in turn donating to other LA-based LGBTQ+ organizations.
"It's insulting to be told you don't matter and the things that matter to you don't matter," Sister Unity said. "For us, however, unintentionally, the good senator and unfortunately the Dodgers afforded us an opportunity to meet with you all and tell people who we are."
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have often been scrutinized by Catholic groups for their parodied performances, while dressed like nuns, that "use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit," according to their website.
In a statement released last Wednesday, the Dodgers announced that they were revoking the already extended invite to the nonprofit organization, saying, "Given the strong feelings of people who have been offended by the sisters' inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year's group of honorees."
The Dodgers initial decision to rescind their invitation came on the heels of outrage from Florida state Senator Marco Rubio and various Catholic groups, including the Catholic League. Both penned letters to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to berate the Dodgers choice in inviting the group to their celebration, mainly in part because the group "mocks Christians through diabolical parodies of our faith."
However, that choice was met with additional backlash from LGBTQ+ groups around the country, including massive Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization LA Pride, who announced that they would withdraw from the 10th Annual Dodgers Pride Night celebration due to the abrupt and controversial decision.
The organization issued their own statement following the Dodgers reversal, saying that the move is a "good first step towards their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community" and that they "will stand in solidarity with them at Pride Night."
"We are always stronger when we stand together," the statement said.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence released a statement after they were uninvited, saying that they took "deep offense" in the matter, especially since the criticism was coming from "hateful and misleading information from people outside their community."
A number of politicians, including County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, Representative Robert Garcia and Assembly member Rick Chavez Zbur, also publicly voiced their displeasure with the Dodgers organization
Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Angels offered their own invitation to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to their upcoming Pride Night celebration in Anaheim.
The sisters were initially invited to the Pride Night celebration in Los Angeles, scheduled for June 16 against the San Francisco Giants, to receive a Community Award for their efforts to promote human rights, diversity and spiritual enlightenment.
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